The Democratic National Convention is coming up Sept. 4 in Charlotte, and nearly 35,000 people are expected to be there, including nearly 6,000 delegates.
One of those delegates will be Sean Hassan, a 33-year-old attorney and small business owner from San Bruno.
San Bruno Patch caught up with Hassan as he was making preparations to finish up with work so that he could make it to the convention.
San Bruno Patch: How did you become a delegate for the Democratic National Convention?
Sean Hassan: I became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention by running and being elected by voters within the district, which includes San Bruno and several other neighboring cities. The election took place at a caucus held in South San Francisco. All registered Democrats living in the district were eligible to vote in the caucuses. I asked individuals for their votes and had an opportunity to make a speech to the crowd as a whole to ask for votes.
Patch: Why did you want to become one?
Hassan: I come from a modest background. My parents came to this country as immigrants. After many years of working, my mom went to school to become a nurse and she still works as one. I attended public schools for elementary, middle and high school. If it wasn't for federal grants and federally subsidized loans, I would not have been able to attend college, graduate school and Stanford Law School.
So, I have long been interested in politics and policy. I'm keen to support candidates who advocate for policies that make it possible for individuals from modest backgrounds to have opportunities to develop their talents and to have their hard work rewarded with educational opportunities.
Patch: What are you doing to prepare for the convention?
Hassan: Well, I'm trying to make sure that all my other work is done since I'm not going to be able to do much work while I'm at the convention. I'm a news junkie as it is, so I'm also trying to keep up with everything going on in the news so that I remain informed as I head to the convention.
Patch: What do you hope to take away from the convention?
Hassan: I would really like to get to know other delegates from the Bay Area, the rest of the state and other parts of the country. I think the convention is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other individuals from diverse backgrounds who are passionate and committed to improving their communities and this country. I'm hoping to get to know others with whom I can keep in touch after the convention so that we can partner for important work in the future.
Patch: What important issues do you want to address with other delegates at the convention?
Hassan: I want to ensure that, collectively, delegates from across the country are doing everything possible to get out the vote on behalf of President Obama. Republicans in many states have made it extremely difficult for working-class voters to be able to vote by limiting the number of days that voters can go to the polls to vote.
The issues that are important to me include pushing for immigration reform that allows hard working young people to have the opportunity to go to college and become citizens as well as that allows entrepreneurs who want to start businesses in the U.S. to have a much easier time securing visas and permanent residency.
I also think that it's important that the Democratic party and President Obama put forward policies that support the innovation that takes place in Silicon Valley and that creates jobs across the Bay and the country.
Patch: How important is it to represent your hometown at the convention?
Hassan: It really is an honor and a treat to be representing this area at the convention. I moved here in part because I was drawn to the diversity of this area and to the culture of creativity and innovation, which doesn't just help the economy and doesn't just help the Bay Area but that also improves people’s lives across the world.